Reading through the Bible together

Monday, July 28, 2014

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Speaking through Ezekiel, God’s warning message to Egypt is: Don’t believe that it can’t happen to you.  Think of Assyria, a mighty tree more wondrous than anything even in the Garden of God.  Yet it fell and the crash affected the whole forest. 

What a blessing a tree can be.   Fruit, shade, a home for the birds, and needed timber.  Scripture is not opposed to human government.  It simply calls for it to serve its true place in the forest and to shun pride.

The story is a familiar one.  Nebuchadnezzar was chopped down like a tree, but iron and bronze were tied around the stump to preserve its life.  After seven years of insanity he is restored to his throne (Daniel 4).

The house of David is no different.  From the stump of Jesse new life will spring (Isa 11:1).  Most especially is this true for the true son of David, Jesus of Nazareth, the Messiah.  His kingdom will know no end. 

Jesus spoke of kingdoms and trees.  Remember He compared His kingdom to the mustard tree:

The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof (Matt 13:31,32).
What, the fragile mustard seed becomes the king of the forest, even over the mighty cedars?  Indeed it does.  Just as the common stone smashes the image of valuable metals in Dan 2, so the kingdom comes without a show of human power or display of any kind in Matt 13.  Yet the blessing it brings cannot be denied. 
As cedars attract us today, may our faith remain in Jesus Christ, the true son of Jesse.

Ross Cole
Senior Lecturer
Avondale College, Australia